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Taxed to Death

May 5, 2001

by Tom Barrett,

TAXED TO DEATH. Ah, Tax Freedom Day! The day on which we can breathe a collective sigh of relief! The first day of each new year on which we can start earning money for our families and ourselves! EVERY PENNY we earn before Tax Freedom Day goes to some form of government. Unfortunately, Tax Freedom Day comes later and later every year. A decade ago April 15th was the day of rejoicing. Over the last ten years it has moved forward more than two and a half weeks. This year it fell on May 3rd. If this trend continues, thirty years from now our children will be paying taxes for fully half the year. Is this the legacy we want to leave to our heirs?

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, followed always by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years." This quotation sounds as if it were written yesterday about our nation. Actually, Professor Alexander Fraser Tytler wrote it nearly two centuries ago, while our thirteen original states were still colonies of Great Britain. At the time he was writing of the decline and fall of the Athenian Republic over two thousand years before.

Bret Schundler, GOP candidate for Governor in New Jersey, had this to say about taxes: "When you turn on the light in the morning, you pay utility taxes. When you brush your teeth, you pay water taxes. When you drive to work, you pay gas taxes and rising toll taxes. Before you get paid at work, they take out payroll taxes. After you get paid at work, they take out income taxes -- state and federal. If you are married, they tax you for that too. And when you buy things, you have to pay sales taxes and the seller’s corporate income taxes. You are probably dog tired from paying all of these taxes when you get home at night, but then you have to pay property taxes. And if these high taxes make you have to sell your home, you will then have to pay capital gains taxes. Worse yet, if you become sick to death of all these taxes, they will make you pay estate taxes."

"Well, aren’t some taxes necessary?" you ask. Yes, but as Thomas Jefferson reminded the politicians of his day, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated." When he said "specifically enumerated," he meant powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution. Any powers not specifically given to the Congress by the Constitution were to be reserved to "The States and to the People." Most of our tax money is simply wasted. Much of it goes to line the pockets of politicians. More goes into programs that don’t work. Very little is used for Constitutional purposes.

Regular readers of my column have heard this before, but it needs to be repeated until the country understands. The Constitution gave Congress VERY limited powers of taxation. These did NOT include any sort of tax on income. After the Supreme Court had ruled a national income tax was unconstitutional several times, politicians of both parties tricked the American people into passing the Sixteenth Amendment, which allowed a limited income tax. They have been raising tax rates and expanding the number of people taxed ever since.

Liberals are crying bitter tears about President Bush’s "huge" tax cut. (You know, the "risky tax scheme"?)  The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, had economists analyze the proposal. Their conclusion?  "The Bush tax cut, measured as a percent of GDP, is only about one-fourth as large as the Reagan tax cut and only about one-half as large as the Kennedy tax cut. Both of these triggered record periods of economic growth." They estimate that "the Bush tax cut should be almost twice as large as proposed," if we want to get similar results.


AREN’T WE A DEMOCRACY? Some of you may have been disturbed by this quotation from Alexander Tytler in the previous article: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government." That might sound pretty scary to those who have been brainwashed into believing this country is a Democracy. There are major differences between a Republic and a Democracy. We are, and always have been, a Republic. We are not, never have been, and hopefully never will be, a Democracy. Remember, "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands..."? If you labor under the common delusion that the United States was founded as a Democracy, even a cursory examination of the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and other writings of the Founders should set you straight.

Our Founding Fathers studied all the forms of government that had existed throughout recorded history, and determined correctly that a Constitutional Representative Republic was the only lasting form of government that benefited all the people. They made it very clear that they were founding a Republic, NOT a Democracy. Unfortunately, anyone who has studied the changes in our laws over the past century can see that we are in danger of becoming a Democracy.

This may not sound very democratic, but some people DON’T know what is best for them. Before you start calling me names or smashing your monitor, hear me out. One of the major constituencies of the liberals is the welfare community. People who receive welfare consistently vote for politicians who favor welfare. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Vote for the guy who keeps the money flowing your way. But is expansion of welfare programs in the best interest of the people receiving welfare? On the surface, it might seem that it is. And for some people who are truly unable to work, welfare is a necessity.

We are now paying a THIRD generation of welfare recipients not to work. We’ve all seen how children copy their parents. Children of alcoholics are more likely to become alcoholics. Children of professionals often follow in their parents’ footsteps. Now sociologists are finally realizing that children who observe their parents living off the labor of others grow up thinking it is their right as well.

What has this to do with a Republic versus a Democracy? It serves as an example of the stark differences between the two forms of government. In a Democracy welfare recipients would be able to vote directly on welfare programs, and most would vote for their continuous expansion. They would do so even though their interests would be better served by job training programs that would get them off of welfare. In a Republic, representatives of the people are chosen to decide what is best for ALL the people.

You might conclude, "We’re safe, then. We have a representative form of government in which we choose the wisest people to make serious decisions." That is true. We are safe- for now. But there are dangers signs, and many of them surfaced during Election 2000. Do you remember how the Democrats harped (and are still harping) on the fact that Gore had a tiny percentage lead in the popular vote? They are still trying to discredit our President by saying that he didn’t receive a majority of the votes cast. (By the way, Bush received more votes, both by the actual number of votes cast and as a percentage of the votes cast, than Clinton did in either of his elections.)  If they cared anything about the Constitution, they wouldn’t even bring the matter up, because they know the Founders designed our election process specifically to avoid mob rule.

The second danger sign is the attack on the Electoral College. The Democrats, particularly Hillary Clinton, take every opportunity to refer to the College as "anachronistic," and have even called for a Constitutional Amendment to do away with it. If the Electoral College is anachronistic, so is the rest of the Constitution. Why not do away with representative government altogether and have a monarchy? The Electoral College was carefully designed to make sure that the larger states could not trample over the smaller states. Like our Congress, the numbers Electors are allocated BOTH by population and by state.

More insidious is a process that has been ongoing for decades. That is the process of stripping our fifty states of the rights granted to them by the U.S. Constitution, and conferring those rights on a very small group of men and women who already have much too much power. If the people of the United States don’t rise up and demand that Congress return powers they have usurped to the states and to the people, our Republic will degenerate into a Democracy. And our nation will eventually fall, as have so many others before us.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’d like to do further research on this subject, this website contains government documents that demonstrate that we are indeed a Republic: .)


PRAY FOR THE PRESIDENT. May 3, 2001 was the National Day of Prayer. Every night when I put my daughter to bed, we pray for our President and other leaders that they will rule our country wisely and well. Millions of Americans do the same every day. One group of citizens is going further, however. So far more than four thousands people from all faiths have banded together and committed to fast and pray on specific days for our President for the next four years. If you’d like to find out more, go to this website to read an article about the group:,1183,PTID2546|CHID101025|CIID261909,00.html .


JESSE...AGAIN. Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem, allowed Jesse Jackson to use his church’s sanctuary, supposedly to apologize for his adultery. Instead, says Walker, Jackson turned it into a "Jesse is the greatest!" rally. Upset, Walker wrote to Jackson: "You disrespected me, my pulpit and my people. I had to publicly apologize to my congregation on Sunday for my poor judgment in allowing that kind of rally to be held in the Sanctuary in my absence. ... The bottom line is that you cannot help yourself. Your addiction to the need of media attention seems to be fatal and you have fallen into the practice of using people for your advantage and personal aggrandizement."



"I just read an article you wrote about abortion on the website, titled ’What a Difference a Minute Makes’. I appreciated the point of view. I do believe that a woman should have a choice, but the choice should take place before she lies down and has sex with a man. I am a Christian and I have a lot of concerns about where this country and our moral values are going. It’s a good thing God loves us even when we act stupid. God bless. Nick."

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